This past year has been an exercise in learning how to be flexible and resilient, and no one knows that better than work-at-home moms.
And now that summer is here and the kids are home, work-at-home moms are back in the thick of trying to get the job done while managing snacks, playdates, popsicles and pool time.
There are some key coping strategies for work-at-home moms, so you can have work time – and a little fun in the sun with your kids. Here are some things I do to balance work while babysitting my grandchildren.
Distractions will happen
Plan for distractions to happen. When you are dealing with kids, it is just inevitable. I try to save my focus work for when I can really focus. And I also set the kids up for success by setting clear boundaries. This could look like a visual schedule so they know when they have one-on-one time with you and when you need to work or letting them choose an afternoon activity where you will be 100% present.
Work in chunks of time
It helps me to set a time to work, get everything I can done during that chunk of time, and then take a break. So, I set my daily schedule up in blocks and schedule in plenty of time to play with the kids. Consistency is key here; eventually, your children will learn the rhythm and it will make the day flow easier for all.
I try to structure my week and make a running to-do list that I then manage daily, updating it and making sure to prioritize it based on deadlines and other urgent matters. The fact is, things do change and we have to be flexible. Having a list that is set up in order of importance keeps me focused.
Manage calls and emails
Phone calls and emails are big time drains, so I only check them periodically and then do my responding all at once. If I checked my email or voicemail every time I got one, I would never get anything else done! It’s a big distraction. So, don’t let the notifications distract you from the task at hand. Turn them off, silence them, and focus.
It is possible to work with kids at home, but it does take planning, flexibility and a good sense of humor. However, some jobs (and some people) find it challenging and that is OK! It is all a balance.
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